In a response to Greens Senator Larissa Waters’ No Gender December Campaign, The Australian published a photo of her daughter in a pink dress to showcase the supposed double standards surrounding the campaign.
The Australian ran an image from Waters’ Facebook account that showed her six-year-old daughter in a pink outfit with her face blacked out, despite being asked not to publish the image by the senator’s lawyers.
Sen. Larissa Waters has responded to the image, saying her campaign is being misrepresented and that there are no double standards involved.
Waters has said her campaign was never about “pink toys or clothes being bad”.
“My objection is to toys being marketed as just for girls or just for boys, for example, many catalogues at Christmas time categorise toys as ‘gifts for boys’ or ‘gifts for girls’,” she said in a statement to The Guardian.
Mamamia previously wrote…
At this time of the year, many of us are buying children’s gifts (or at least planning to before leaving it to the last minute, like me!).
Walking along the starkly separate aisles of pink and blue, it’s pretty obvious which toys are marketed as for girls and which ones are marketed as for boys.
Although it might seem harmless, setting such stark gender roles at such an early age can have long-term impacts on our children.
Toys can influence children’s self-perception, for example, many toys marketed as for girls emphasise the value of female appearance and some toys marketed as for boys normalise violence.
They can also have an impact on future career aspirations and lifestyle choices.
Even though it’s 2014 and many women drive trucks while many men push prams, a lot of toy companies don’t seem to have caught up.
Old-fashioned stereotypes about girls and boys and men and women, perpetuate gender inequality, which feeds into very serious problems such as domestic violence and the gender pay gap.
Such serious problems can seem so far removed from choosing children’s toys, especially to well-meaning friends and family.
But it’s important that we’re aware of gendered marketing and how it might impact our children.
And there’s no better time to do it than December, when so many children’s toys are being bought.
That’s why the Greens and Play Unlimited, with the support of a number of researchers and psychologists, are launching a new campaign today, to raise awareness about this issue called No Gender December.
No Gender December aims to encourage discussion about the gendered marketing of toys that we hope will lead to stores and toy companies becoming inclusive in the way they promote their products to children.
You can get involved by signing our online pledge and by joining in on our playdate day in two weeks’ time on Sunday, 14th December.
I’m looking forward to hosting a playdate at a park in Brisbane for friends and any interested parents and their children to come along and discuss the issue and have a play. There’s also one on in Melbourne and you can check out all the details at www.nogenderdecember.com
You can also set up a playdate in your community on the website. It would be wonderful to see more No Gender December playdates happening across the country.
At the very least it’s a good excuse to catch up with friends and meet other like-minded parents.
By joining together, we can make sure that the wonder and surprises of children’s imaginations aren’t limited by old-fashioned stereotypes.
Because as seven-year-old Maggie put it when she saw comics marketed as “fun gifts for boys”, “anybody can like superheroes”.
Yes! Anybody can like superheroes and I think the children who point out that everyone should be able to play with whatever toys they like are superheroes themselves!
Senator Larissa Waters is the Australian Greens’ spokesperson on the Environment and Biodiversity, Women, Resources, Mining and Coal Seam Gas. She lives in Queensland with her young daughter.